The weather was quite grim and drizzly this morning, so I decided to celebrate the general atmosphere of melancholy by visiting The Gorey House – a gorgeous old place on 6A in Yarmouthport that was once the home of the brilliant author and illustrator Edward Gorey (1925-2000) and is now a museum dedicated to his life and his work. Gorey is famous for his macabre tales and illustrations which feature doomed ballerinas, ill-fated children, strange, sad-eyed monsters, and mustachioed dandies decked out in long fur coats and old timey racing goggles. Gorey’s humor is as dark as the blackest of nights, his language is delightful, eccentric, and addictive, and his drawings are crosshatched perfection.
A visit to the Gorey House is a must for any fan of Gorey, but would be a wonderful introduction for the uninitiated. The museum displays many of Gorey’s personal items – his collection of antique glass bottles, his ankle-length fur coat, his amazing jewelry, a human skull wearing metal glasses with colored lenses – along with the numerous books, sketches, and works of art that gave him a cult following.
The Gorey House is now open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There is always a volunteer available to show you around the museum and a charmingly obsese cat who, if he is not deep in to one of his many naps, would be open to letting you scratch behind his ears. Be sure to check out their website for more information on hours and location before you visit.
For me, Edward Gorey was one of Cape Cod’s coolest residents. Now that he is gone, I’m very thankful that The Gorey House keeps his legacy alive and vibrant.